I am a 1st year undergraduate student and I just put myself in trouble this week by cheating in a midterm exam.

This is my first offence, so I still have a 2nd chance and, trust me, I will learn from this stupid mistake. However, I am very worried as to whether I still stand a chance to be admitted to graduate studies in the future with this permanent notation in my record.

I plan to apply for the MA in about 5 years, so I still have time to take my redemption and do well in school and get some field experience, but I don't know if they will consider my efforts.

Will they even consider my application?

  • 3
    Which country are you in? (The spelling looks British...) In the U.S. any disciplinary action pertaining to cheating would be an internal university matter and would not normally be shown on your transcript. No one wants to ruin your entire career because of one mistake. You may have to repeat the class or serve some other reasonable punishment, but after that the case will be closed and no one will know or care. – Dan Romik Mar 10 '16 at 22:54
  • I second Dan's statement. Usually, the first offence will not leave a permanent stain if it is not reinforced by further contraventions. However, I very strongly recommend that you never, ever be tempted to test the system again (you already say that you won't do it), as I must impress on you that punishment for repeat offenders can be expulsion from the studies. The philosophy behind this is that students may not know what they are doing in the first offence, but if they repeat it, they are seen as trying to game the system, putting an extra cost on the system to enforce fairness. – Captain Emacs Mar 10 '16 at 23:04
  • Some institutions in the US will certainly include disciplinary actions (e.g. disciplinary suspension for a semester) on academic transcripts. Usually the first offense won't result in any punishment that serious. – Brian Borchers Mar 11 '16 at 1:58

One offense, if in early years and followed with solid achievements later on, will probably be forgiven. But someone with your exact same qualifications and no black mark would probably have an advantage.

  • Thank you, everyone for your answer. I am from Canada, so I think the system might be the same as in the US...I think...Do you know if the notation in the record can be removed? I have been told that I can write a letter to the president of the institution, but it is usually dismissed...what can I say in the letter? – T.Tran Mar 11 '16 at 14:54
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    @T.Tran As Dan Romik says, it will probably not be on your transcript. It's not even clear from the question if this is already on your official university record or the professor is just keeping this information "in-house." – Kimball Mar 12 '16 at 14:06
  • It will appear in my unofficial transcript, also called "academic record", but not in my official transcript. The unofficial transcript is the one that is required for the MA application...so that means they will see the notation...I think the official transcript is only for employment. – T.Tran Mar 12 '16 at 15:18
  • @T.Tran At least in the US, an unofficial transcript doesn't usually have anything not listed on the official transcript. It's usually just something free you can print yourself, rather than paying the university to issue a certified copy. "Academic record" to me means the internal file the university keeps on you which is typically never released to external parties. Though maybe things are different in your system. – Kimball Mar 13 '16 at 22:04

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